Spotlight: Uri Vool

Uri was born in Donetsk, Ukraine and grew up in Jerusalem, Israel. He started his quantum career at the the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Nadav Katz’s group where he did theory for quantum system by simulating and benchmarking multi-level qubit gates.

After this, we joined Yale by doing theory with Steve Girvin, working on “bath engineering” projects - how to get the environment to work for you and help you do quantum operations, instead of interfere as usual. He then switched to the experimental side with Michel Devoret, where he made different kinds of artificial atoms out of circuits, taking advantage of their various properties. The main use of these circuits is to build more varied artificial atoms which can be for all kinds of applications in quantum control and quantum computing.

Recently, Uri has been working on two specific projects. The first one was trying to break a selection rule which limits transitions in their artificial atoms, and thus building a “lambda-system”. This is a kind of structure, very common in real atoms, which couldn’t be reproduced in artificial atoms due to their limited structure. By using nonlinear coupling, they were able to break this selection rule and create a superconducting lambda-system.

His second project involved engineering driven artificial atoms. By applying continuous drives to a circuit (just shining light on it continuously), you can create a new effective atom where all the parameters can be tweaked on the fly. 

Uri’s dream machine would be a “quantum printer” where he could feed it a Hamiltonian - a theoretical description of your quantum system - and get a circuit which is the physical implementation of this system. This is the long-term goal of the artificial atom idea in Uri’s mind.

Following his defense on Wednesday, August 23 2017, Uri will go to Harvard where he will study weird “topological” superconductors using quantum sensors based on real coherent atoms (the technical buzzword is “nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond”).

We wish him the best for this new adventure!

Fun facts
Uri likes to rock climb during his free time, and recently got into Yoga though he said he’s terrible at it. He is currently struggling with learning Chinese! Also, he still thinks New England is way too cold!

Favorite publication
Clerk, A. A. and Devoret, M. H. and Girvin, S. M. and Marquardt, Florian and Schoelkopf, R. J., Introduction to quantum noise, measurement, and amplification, Rev. Mod. Phys., (82), pp. 1155-1208 (2010) [Especially Appendix E!]

Latest publication
 Vool, U., Devoret, M.H., Introduction to quantum electromagnetic circuits, International Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications, 45 (7), pp. 897-934 (2017) 

Most cited
Shankar, S., Hatridge, M., Leghtas, Z., Sliwa, K.M., Narla, A., Vool, U., Girvin, S.M., Frunzio, L., Mirrahimi, M., Devoret, M.H., Autonomously stabilized entanglement between two superconducting quantum bits, Nature, 504 (7480), pp. 419-422 (2013)